What Are Nootropics? Nootropics are supplements that in healthy individuals may improve cognitive functions. Learn how they can help you.
Just like there are supplements to make our overall health better, there are also supplements designed specifically for improving our mental health. These supplements are called nootropics.
The term nootropics were first coined by Dr Corneliu E. Giurgia. According to him, a substance is only a nootropic when it fulfils five conditions:
1) Memory enhancement
2) Allows the brain to work in harsh or damaging conditions (low oxygen)
3)Protects the brain from physical damage
4) Improves neuronal conductance
5) Is non-toxic with virtually no side effects
Nowadays, however, when most people refer to nootropics they don’t necessarily have to fulfil all of the above criteria. The current definition of nootropic is usually taken as a ‘smart drug’ or any substance that has the proven ability to enhance cognitive performance.
Nootropics are most commonly taken in the form of tablets or powdered drinks. Of course, natural nootropics can be taken by consuming the food that contains them as well. Many people opt to take nootropics in ‘stacks’.
Stacks are basically a combination of different nootropics that work well together combined into one powdered drink. You can take stacks based on what cognitive enhancement you are aiming for.
There are stacks for photographic memory (which is basically all the nootropics known to enhance memory combined into one supplement), There are also stacks for neuronal growth, studying for exams etc.
The Research Behind Nootropics
According to the National Institute of Health, extensive research has been conducted on the effects of both the synthetic (man-made) nootropics and natural nootropics. The studies all conclude that there are definitely significant improvements in brain activity after taking these supplements.
A lot of nootropics work by getting through the blood-brain barrier and actually influencing our neuronal mechanisms to work in a certain manner.Some nootropics act by affecting neuronal signaling, whereas others work by affecting secondary messenger proteins. One thing is common in all nootropics, whatever path they choose, they always enhance cognitive performance in one way or the other.
Some Of The Best Nootropics Out There
There are more than 100 nootropics in existence today. Some of the most well-studied and powerful are:
Coline is considered to be the ‘learning molecule’, studies have consistently shown the effect of coline in enhancing reaction times, memory and overall cognitive performance.
Ashwagandha is a powerful adaptogen that has the ability to boost both physical and mental capacity. Studies have shown the effects of ashwagandha in improving memory and cognitive disorders such as Alzheimers disease.
Ginko biloba is generally consumed to improve focus and prevent cognitive decline. Clinical Trials are not very consistent with regards to the effectiveness of ginko biloba. However, studies show that ginko biloba has the ability to improve memory and prevent mental decline.
Nootropics are great when taken in moderation. Make sure whatever nootropic you take is FDA approved and also take caution to ensure you are only consuming the amount allotted by the manufacturer.
You can also take brain supplements such as NeuroActiv6 for improved mental performance and memory.
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